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Questions and Answers: Torquay leasehold conveyancing

I want to sublet my leasehold apartment in Torquay. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Even though your previous Torquay conveyancing solicitor is not around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to seek consent from your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without first obtaining permission. Such consent must not not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Torquay.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is pay the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Torquay which have approximately fifty years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Torquay is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Torquay conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Completion in due on our sale of a £400000 apartment in Torquay on Friday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Torquay?

For most leasehold sales in Torquay conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

  • Completing pre-exchange enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Torquay
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Torquay leasehold property is £350. For Torquay conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to supply the information.

In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Torquay what are the most common lease problems?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Torquay. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
  • Insurance obligations
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Yorkshire Building Society, Leeds Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

Torquay Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to Purchasing

    The majority of Torquay leasehold flats will incur a service bill for maintenance of the building invoiced by the landlord. Should you purchase the property you will have to pay this charge, usually periodically during the year. This could differ from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large communal grounds. In all probability there will be a rentcharge to be met annual, this is usually not a large amount, say about £25-£75 but you need to check it because occasionally it could be many hundreds of pounds. What prohibitions are there in the Torquay Lease? How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments?

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Torquay